Many of you, unlike me, are totally unprepared for Valentine’s Day (tomorrow). So I am re-posting and updating an earlier blog just in time to give you some ideas of what you can get your sweetheart before they even know you forgot. (You folks in Australia are on your own because Valentine’s Day is already upon you.) Anyway, I have organized my gift ideas according to the stage of relationship you happen to be in with your sweetie. Here goes- you may want to print this out as a valuable resource to be passed on to your children and grandchildren:
Pursuing a crush: Maybe there is someone at work, school, or at church whom you like and want them to know that you think they are special. Why don’t you gift wrap a slightly roasted marshmallow (one of those big ones; white for a guy, pink for a girl). Include with the gift an invitation to a campfire meal finished off by making s’mores. Girls, a guy will be so impressed that you know how to make a campfire; and guys, a girl will be so impressed you know how to make something so extravagent. (Hint: wait till the weather gets above zero before the date.)
You are dating but have not yet DTR: Perhaps you have not yet “defined the relationship” and so you want to keep the gifts casual, but useful. For a guy, get him a sock. Yep, a sock. He’ll love it and will no doubt already have a match for it as he scrounges around in his sock-drawer. He will see all those single socks and will suddenly be struck by the fact that he is single and he may have found his match right there in his hand. (God did a similar thing with Adam using socks with animals on them to wake the guy up to the fact that he was alone- er, something like that.) Trust me, it works all the time. For a girl, get her a DIY cupcake paper planter kit from uncommongoods.com. It’s only $15 and it is actually made of concrete so it is easy to carry in her purse. It also comes with potting soil and sunflower seeds. She will love it and it is guaranteed to define the relationship.
You are a couple now: It is public and all over social media that you two are an item, so now you are ready for more specifically romantic gifting. Every guy loves music, even if he can’t sing, so buy him a capo (short for capotasto, which means linguini). A capo that’s the thingy which goes on the neck of a guitar in order shorten the playable length of the strings and therefore raise the pitch. However, it doesn’t matter whether your guy plays the guitar or not; every guy needs a capo. Besides, you can subtly start your attempt to change him into a more cultured person. Guys, every girl loves jewelry (except my wife), so get her a shark-tooth necklace. These are so cool. You can get one from jawsandpaws.net for only $39 and it comes with a little lip balm container attached (clam flavor) so her lips will always be kissably soft.
It’s been more than a year now and you are waiting for the ring: OK, this is the time for a strategic gift. Remember the sock, girls? Well, buy a really nice pair of leather gloves for your guy, but only give him one and you keep the other one. Guys are very relationally astute and your guy will get the clear message that when you get the ring he gets the other glove. It is not manipulatory at all, it is biblically symbolic (?). Guys, if your girl is dragging her feet about getting engaged, my suggestion for a gift will definitely push her over the edge. Give her a Nordstrom cubic zirconia nose ring which can be ordered at Nordstrom.com for only $46. Give it to her in a little ring box. This is where you need to be very observant guys; if she looks disappointed or has that questioning look at all, it is time to go ring shopping. If she likes the gift and looks relieved, dump her. I am speaking from a vast experience of dealing with lots of women; well, actually only one.
You are newlyweds: Get your guy a pocket knife. Every guy needs a pocket knife so he can come to the rescue of people who on a daily basis ask, “does anyone here have a pocket knife”? For him to say, “I do” will help rewire his brain to be a good provider. However, it will also remind him daily of his covenantal marriage vows and that if he ever forgets them you will use the pocket knife on him. And for your beautiful young bride, think through the things you didn’t get as wedding gifts for the kitchen and buy her something she would love. Perhaps an electric toaster, or a Joroushi electric bread maker, or if she needs a place to sit while she reads gourmet menus you can buy her an electric chair. You can get a refurbished one at prisonwarden.org for only $150; certainly worth the price.
A veteran couple: You are in this for the long haul and you want something special for that incredible person who is willing to sacrifice his/her life to be married to you. You have to give it some thought- especially you guys. A couple of minutes the night before Valentine’s Day doesn’t cut it. It won’t give you the time needed to think creatively and sensitively. You need to start at least two hours the night before and be willing to commit at least a focused span of 5 minutes, which by the way is more than a lifetime of a gnat- or so I’m told. For her, especially for these cold nights, let me suggest a New England Patriot (Super Bowl Champs!) flannel night shirt to replace your old football jersey that she’s been wearing since Ron Paul was a first-time candidate for president; only $44.95 at nfl.com. And for him; this is an amazing suggestion ladies- get him a pair of cherry red one-piece flannel pajamas with feet. Yep! The kind with a drop-seat- O yeah! And if he gives you any gas about why there’s a flap in the back and nothing in the front, tell him that if he is smart enough to have married you, he’ll be able to figure it out. You can get those at Land’s End (no pun intended) for $22.99.
I hope that my pastoral insights have been helpful to you. Let me know if you need counseling.